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The Vintage Ugandan Photography Of Musa Katuramu

'People Poses Places,' the latest book in HIPUganda's Ebifananyi series, features vintage Ugandan photography by the late Musa Katuramu.

Back in February 2013 Okayafrica caught up with photography archive HIPUganda (History In Progress Uganda) co-creator Andrea Stultiens to talk about her project's well-curated time travel into Ugandan history. "The focus of HIP was, and still is to make photographic records from (and about) Uganda available to a wide audience online and in other media," Stultiens told us. "The idea is that sharing information is crucial to nuance the, still limited and often one-sided, available version of Uganda’s recent history." In support of this mission, on November 21st HIPUganda will release People Poses Places, the second book in their Ebifananyi series.


This time Stultiens and her colleague Rumazi Canon dig into the photographic archives of Musa Katuramu (1913-1986), a carpenter and teacher from Toro (Western Uganda), who began documenting his community in the 1930s. Working with only a basic camera and studios that he constructed on site, Katuramu would go around his neighborhood shooting portraits of his friends and family– a rare insider's look into western Uganda when considering most camera owners at the time were outsiders (missionaries and colonists).

Katuramu’s son, Jerry Bagonza, preserved his father’s photos, and there remains an archive of 1500 negatives and 750 prints that have never been shown before. Boganza has now partnered with HIPUganda to bring his father’s work to the public through the new book, which pairs Katuramu's vintage portraits with contemporary photography by Stultiens and Canon (Canon comes from the same region in Uganda as Katuramu).

People Poses Places is available in print here, and will launch as an E-Book on November 21. A large portion of Katuramu’s archive will be on display November 8th through January 11th, 2015, at the Noorderlicht Gallery in Groningen, Netherlands. Follow HIPUganda on facebook and twitter for more information.

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 10: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on stage during a campaign rally at the Target Center on October 10, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images).

Trump Attacks Ilhan Omar & Minnesota's Somali Community In Disparaging Anti-Immigrant Campaign Speech

Trump stepped up his demonization of Minnesota's Somali community in front of a braying crowd of MAGA-hat wearing supporters.

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota and—in typical white-nationalist fashion—used a significant portion of his speech to disparage the local Somali community, and once again take shots at the state's Somali-born Representative Ilhan Omar.

"As you know for many years leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers," said Trump, echoing the countless anti-immigrant statements he's made in the past. "You should be able to decide what is best for your own cities and for your own neighborhoods and that's what you have the right to do right now, and believe me, no other president would be doing that," he added as his supporters cheered him on.

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Ugandan Chief Ham Mukasa's Historic Notes Re-Interpreted

Ugandan artists reinterpret the historic notes of Chief Ham Mukasa in HIPUganda co-founder Andrea Stultiens' 'Go Forward' exhibition.

Earlier this month photography archive project HIPUganda (History In Progress Uganda) launched the second e-book in their Ebifananyi series, featuring the vintage Western Ugandan portraits of self-taught photographer Musa Katuramu. For their next project, HIPUganda turns to the archives of Ugandan chief Ham Mukasa (ca. 1870-1956). An early literate and Christian convert, Mukasa documented specific moments and phenomena from Ugandan history in a series of notes. HIPUganda co-creator Andrea Stultiens found a list of "described images" that should have accompanied Mukasa's notes on the reign of three kings of the Buganda Kingdom. Though in her research Stultiens found that these illustrations were never actually made. In Go Forward, Stultiens asks a group of Ugandan artists and art students to interpret Mukasa's notes. The instillation, which takes its name from the Luganda title of a book triptych written by Mukasa (Simuda Nyuma), spotlights a collection of photographs from the Mukasa family archive in addition to re-interpreted art from Stultiens' collaborators (Achola Flight Captain Rosario, Lwanga Emmanuel, Eria Nsubuga SANE, Nathan Omiel, Ian Mwesiga Ian, Papatrill SpokenWord, Sanaa Gateja and students from Uganda Christian University and Academy Minerva). The exhibition is on display now through December 12th at Academie Minerva in Groningen, Netherlands, and will likely continue to travel. Look for the Ham Mukasa volume of HIPUganda's Ebifananyi series to be published in July 2015.

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Photo by Hamish Brown

In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System

In 'My Name Is Why,' the 2019 PEN Pinter award winner passionately advocates for children in the institutional care system, and in turn tells a unique story of identity and the power in discovering one's heritage.

It took the author Lemn Sissay almost two decades to learn his real name. As an Ethiopian child growing up in England's care system, his cultural identity was systematically stripped from him at an early age. "For the first 18 years of my life I thought that my name was Norman," Sissay tells OkayAfrica. "I didn't meet a person of color until I was 10 years of age. I didn't know a person of color until I was 16. I didn't know I was Ethiopian until I was 16 years of age. They stole the memory of me from me. That is a land grab, you know? That is post-colonial, hallucinatory madness."

Sissay was not alone in this experience. As he notes in his powerful new memoir My Name Is Why, during the 1960s, tens of thousands of children in the UK were taken from their parents under dubious circumstances and put up for adoption. Sometimes, these placements were a matter of need, but other times, as was the case with Sissay, it was a result of the system preying on vulnerable parents. His case records, which he obtained in 2015 after a hardfought 30 year campaign, show that his mother was a victim of child "harvesting," in which young, single women were often forced into giving their children up for adoption before being sent back to their native countries. She tried to regain custody of young Sissay, but was unsuccessful.

Whether they end up in the foster system out of need or by mistake, Sissay says that most institutionalized children face the same fate of abuse under an inadequate and mismanaged system that fails to recognize their full humanity. For black children who are sent to white homes, it often means detachment from a culturally-sensitive environment. "There are too many brilliant people that I know who have been adopted by white parents for me to say that it just doesn't work," says Sissay. "But the problem is the amount of children that it doesn't work for."

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(Screenshot from "Every Woman" video)

Check out Cameroonian Crooner Vagabon’s New Ode to Female Power

The singer dropped a video for new single "Every Woman" today, shot by fellow Cameroonian director Lino Asana.

Cameroonian-born singer-songwriter Laetitia Tamko, better known as her stage name Vagabon, has been spoiling us with delights as of late. First, the crooner teased us with two singles, "Flood" and "Water Me Down" from her forthcoming sophomore album, Vagabon, a work she wrote and produced herself. And today, she surprised us with a new single and video for "Every Woman"—a track Tamko claims is the "thesis of the album," as per a press statement reported by The Fader magazine

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